Boating In The


  by Bonzai Yak

  112 pages

Chapter 1: Territory (part c)


Good, good, that's very good, just sit on that cushion next to me and I'll make us some tea to sip. Having trouble seeing the place? Not that surprising, the light's not the same as it was where you came from. It's darker inside the Boaters Cafe than you'd maybe expect. The afterglow drifting in through the windows doesn't penetrate, it percolates. Something to do with the way the shadows come out of the corners, they're quite a bit like the light coming in through the windows in fact, only different. Shadows and light, they meet and mix and something more soothing occurs. So take a while, let your eyes adjust. I'll light another candle on the table here while I put on the water for tea.

Got this tea set a while ago from a Gypsy guy on the Isle of Trees. Lots of things about this set, some which I know and some I haven't found out about yet. Strange and unusual qualities turn up all the time and it keeps me on my toes you can bet, or at least off my feet. The size for one thing, it's never the same. Sometimes it's small the way it is now, here pick up the tea pot and hold it a spell. Such a tiny thing, eh? Fits right into the curve of your palm like a curled up mouse. A little bit like a doorknob too, without the door of course. The funny thing is though, somedays it's large, the size of a stewpot without any stew. Needs two hands to pour it then, four's even better if you've got a friend.

The cups are small today as well, just big enough to pinch between your thumb and your forefinger. Just a few sips will fit in there now, but on days when the set has a larger size you can pour a whole gallon or more inside. Hard to believe? It stumps me too, but I figure my job is to pour out the tea and let the set take care of itself. Sometimes it's more, sometimes it's less, in a way it's not all that surprising I guess. With other tea sets it can work the same way, sometimes it seems you can pour tea all day without a clue where it's coming from and where it's going to. Like I said before, time works differently here, and size and space has a tendency to be the same way, not quite the same as it is every day in the everyday world.

There goes the kettle, it's boiling up fine, makes a nice sound that puts me in mind of the wind blowing through the pines. Maybe a trace of some aspen leaves too, rustling around on the underside. Nice gentle noise drifting out of it's spout, this kettle I got from the Gypsies as well, only this time the guy was a bit more direct, sold me a kettle that had just that sound as its special effect. Nice to be able to buy the wind, cost me a lot in a casual way but I'm partial to sounds and the things sounds say. Now this next sound here, it's just like that, I like it a lot and you don't have to go to no Gypsies to have it, it's there anytime that you want to have tea. So I'll pour hot water into the tea pot, you listen, you'll see what I mean.

Nice sound. Water pouring from kettle to pot, a sound you can know in the everyday world and it flows in the Territory too. Sounds the same anywhere you might be, everytime you pour you get more of the same. Each time you hear it it brings you near to the same single sound that is too whole to hear. Listen some more the next time I pour.

Now maybe you wonder, or maybe not, why I forgot to put tea in the pot. I remembered just fine. It's the teapot you see, one of its other strange qualities is to add in the tea on its own. The Gypsy guy said when we made the deal that it always makes no-tea and no-tea is real. I figure he's right. I never put anything into the pot and the taste just arrives on its own. Maybe this teapot is only a piece of some much larger pot that's too whole to see with a whole lot of tea inside. Pour it out one day, it's Black Dragon Oolong, pour it another it's White Peony. Can't really say how it happens that way, but I will say this: the tea from this pot always tastes like tea no matter what kind it happens to be.

So I'll put the top on and wait for a bit, take a few moments to let the tea sit. You might as well look around the place here and see what there is and there isn't. Not all that easy to see with your eyes, the Boaters Cafe has a strange kind of size. It's not so much that it grows or shrinks, it's more that it holds a whole lot more than you think at first glance. Kind of just like the pot and the tea, it's full of a whole lot of stuff you can't see all at once. You'd be surprised how many can sit at the tables here, and how many can't. More of an intimate measurement as to how many fit. Now the regulars, they always can find their seat whenever they want. That's a real comfort for guys like me who sail the seas in irregular ways. Always some place for me to sit down at the end of the day.

Continue on to next page

return to Bonzai Yak's page